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Red Devils Face Dangerous Hazard in Their Attempts to Recover from A Poor Start

October 18, 2018

Last time out, before the international break, Manchester United were in dire straits. Having lost three of their opening seven games, they were 2-0 down at home to Newcastle United, a team without a win this season, and the pressure was increasing on manager Jose Mourinho. There was even talk of the Special One being out of his job in the morning.

However, after a number of tactical changes and 20 minutes of high-tempo football, United staged a superb fightback to claim a 3-2 win in the final minute of the game, a result which eased the pressure on Mourinho and meant that United at least went into the international break in positive spirits.

In contrast to that, Chelsea were playing at Southampton last time out and they strolled to a 3-0 win with goals from Eden Hazard, Ross Barkley and Alvaro Morata. That win moved Chelsea above Liverpool into second place in the table, with the top three all having 20 points and only separated on goal difference.

It promises to be an intriguing game between the teams and it is a Premier League fixture that has a long history, with some strong wins for both sides against each other since the tournament began back in the 1990s.

Chelsea v Manchester United – Head to Head

This coming weekend’s match between the teams will be the 181st contest between the teams and it is Chelsea who have the better recent record in the fixture, by a quite considerable margin heading back to 2012.

Over their entire histories, the match has been played 180 times with the following record for the teams:

  • Chelsea Wins – 54
  • Man Utd Wins – 77
  • Draws – 49

United have not won in London against Chelsea since October 2012, when they landed a 3-2 win in the Premier Leage. Over that time, Chelsea have enjoyed much the better of the fixture and that record has continued into their most recent games, where United have scored five and won just two of the last ten games between the teams, both of those wins coming at Old Trafford.

Over history, United have by far the better record but ever since Chelsea’s new owner took over the club and invested his billions, matches between the sides have been considerably closer and if anything it is Chelsea that hold the slight advantage in recent times.

Last 10 Games Between the Teams

  • Chelsea Wins – 5
  • Man Utd Wins – 2
  • Draws – 3
  • Chelsea Goals Scored – 10
  • Man Utd Goals Scored – 5

Chelsea League Performances This Season

  • Huddersfield Town (A) – W 3-0 (Kante 34, Jorginho (p) 45, Pedro 80)
  • Arsenal (H) – W 3-2 (Pedro 9, Morata 20, Alonso 81)
  • Newcastle (A) – W 2-1 (Hazard 76 (p), Yedlin og 87)
  • Bournemouth (H) – W 2-0 (Pedro 72, Hazard 85)
  • Cardiff City (H) – W 4-1 (Hazard 37. 43, 80 (p), Willian 83)
  • West Ham (A) – D 0-0
  • Liverpool (H) – D 1-1 (Hazard 25)
  • Southampton (A) – W 3-0 (Hazard 30, Barkley 57, Morata 90)

Man Utd League Performances This Season

  • V Leicester City (H) – W 2-1 (Pogba (p) 3, Shaw 83)
  • V Brighton (A) – L 2-3 (Lukaku 34, Pogba (p) 90)
  • V Tottenham (H) – L 0-3
  • V Burnley (A) – W 2-0 (Lukaku 27,44)
  • V Watford (A) – W 2-1 (Lukaku 35, Smalling 38)
  • V Wolves (H) – D 1-1 (Fred 18)
  • V West Ham (A) – L 1-3 (Rashford 71)
  • V Newcastle (H) – W 3-2 (Mata 70, Martial 76, Sanchez 90)

Chelsea are unbeaten in all competitions having won their matches in the Europa League and also the Carabao Cup. Manchester United have won one and drawn one of their Champions League games so far this season, but they were knocked out of the Carabao Cup on penalties after a 2-2 draw with Derby County at Old Trafford.

Probable Teams

Chelsea – (4-3-3) – Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Luiz, Rudiger, Jorginho, Kante, Barkley, Willian, Hazard, Giroud.

I can’t see Maurizio Sarri making too many changes for this game, especially to a team that played so well in victory at Southampton. Kovacic may get a start in place of Barkley if the Italian wants a more defensive looking midfield, but I think he will stick with Barkley in an attempt to press home his sides attacking advantage against what has looked to be a shaky United back line this season.

Manchester United – (4-3-3) – De Gea, Young, Smalling, Bailly, Shaw, Matic, Pogba, Fellaini, Sanchez, Lukaku, Martial

I think Mourinho will make a couple of changes for this game. I think Fellaini will come into midfield in place of McTominay, while Sanchez goalscoring return for the team over Newcastle may see him return to the team in place of Rashford, especially with the England man playing two big games for his country in the week.

Our Top Tips for Chelsea v Manchester United

Full Time Result – Chelsea to win – 7/10

While I was impressed with the way United came back to earn a win at Newcastle at Old Trafford last time out, I saw enough frailties in the team to make me worry that this game in particular is going to be a massive test. Chelsea are flying, scoring lots of goals and they have the best player in the Premier League in Eden Hazard. Factor all that in and add United’s woeful defensive record and you have what seems to be an obvious home win selection here.

Correct Score – Chelsea 3-1 Manchester United – 14/1

United’s defensive issues have seen them concede a large number of goals this season (11) compared to less than half that for the top teams. Chelsea’s attack is also one of the best in the Premier League and while Chelsea’s defence can be got at, United’s forwards have only fired sporadically. I do think United will score, but I cannot see how they will keep Chelsea out at the other end and as such, I’ve gone for a relatively comfortable 3-1 scoreline for the home side.

Anytime Goalscorer – Eden Hazard (Chelsea) – 11/10

Given that the Chelsea ace has netted seven goals in just eight Premier League games, the first couple of which he started on the bench for, it is fair to say that Hazard seems to be Chelsea’s focal point in attack and their most dangerous goal threat. His record against Manchester United isn’t great however, but I think this will be the day when he proves his worth against the Red Devils and grabs at least one goal and I would not be too surprised if it is two.

About Ian John

Ian John
Working my way though the UK's top online poker sites (and some of the ones near the bottom as well) to bring you a first-hand take on the absolute best choices for online poker players from the UK.